Letters to the editor: Sept. 25, 2020

Stranded in Mac

I’m visually impaired, so I don’t drive.

On Sept. 11, I took the bus to McMinnville. After finishing my business, I waited at the stop for the return bus to Carlton, but it never showed up.

When I called the transit center, I discovered the system had been shut down due to the air quality. Transit officials said it was bad for the buses.

I really think they should have waited until the final, 6 p.m. run was done. They left many people stranded a long way from home.

That’s so ridiculous. Let’s save the buses.

Buses over humans. Just let people walk back to their homes in Hillsboro and Sherwood.

Their performance rating needs to be zero. Otherwise, it’s not getting the proper weight.

There were so many people scrambling to find a ride to their destination. I really think Yamhill County has a screw loose.

Kathleen Bailey



 Perfect for the job

I love our local News-Register, especially Friday’s Viewpoints section. But I don’t always agree with it.

Your Sept. 18 editorial endorsing Biden and others was disappointing. I read it several times looking for the Biden accomplishments prompting your endorsement, but could only find adjectives based on what you perceive as his personality. As a person who is older than Biden, and watched him throughout his Senate years, I don’t agree with your assessment.

Biden is nasty, not smart. And his way of solving problems is to take someone behind the woodshed and beat the crap out of them. How ridiculous! Also, Biden made both his son and brother wealthy by putting himeself in debt to other countries. 

President Trump, on the other hand, has many accomplishments. They are too numerous to name, but here are a few:

n The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement. I worked for attorneys who were rightly very opposed to NAFTA.

n The Right to Try Act, allowing the terminally ill to try experimental or developmental drugs not approved for general use by the Food & Drug Administration. If I or a loved one had terminal illness, I would want to try everything.

n The U.S. Space Force. China and Russia are ahead of us in the race for space. We need to catch up.

We’ve all heard this is the most important election in our lifetime, and it is. It is also the easiest choice we will ever make. If you love capitalism, the Constitution and what made this country great, vote for Trump. If you prefer socialism and the decline of our country, vote for Biden.

As local resident Rich Roberts said, “I voted for an imperfect guy who was perfect for the job, and I’ll do it again in 2020.”

Judy Hromyko



A lovely story

I have a lovely story to tell about kindness, compassion and understanding.

My son, Peter Vyas, was born with Down Syndrome 47 years ago.

As a youngster he was moderately affected. But as the years have gone by, he has become more so.

He has worked as a custodian for the News-Register and its parent Oregon Lithoprint Inc. for 24 years. He has been very proud of his job at the company printing plant and the friends he has made there.

When I have Peter with me in town for some errand, people I don’t know often say hi to him. They know him from work.

As his skills have changed, the company has adjusted his responsibilities and schedule so he can remain successful.

I wanted to publicly thank the Bladine family and Peter’s supervisor, Mike Hodges, for their unending patience and kindness toward Peter. I wonder if they know how much it means to both Peter and me that they have given him this opportunity to have a fulfilling working life.

Patricia Britton



Support the republic

Now that day is night and two plus two equals whatever the White House says, we have a rare moment of clarity. It should crystallize the essence of this presidency.

Our “wartime president” admitted in taped interviews that he lied about the severity and threat of COVID. On tape back in February, he candidly described the virus as five times deadlier than the flu, emphasized its transmission “in the air” and claimed that he downplayed it to prevent panic. Let that sink in.

What if Roosevelt or Churchill had tried to “prevent panic,” instead of levelling with their people and taking decisive action?

This is the same fellow who has spent six months calling the pandemic a hoax, telling us COVID is “like the flu” and filtering it out with masks is a waste of time, if not downright unpatriotic. This is the same fellow who invites his supporters — once they sign a liability waiver — to sit shoulder to shoulder unmasked for hours while he stokes their fears, incites their panic and basks in their approval.

Who benefits from this nonsense? Certainly not the 200,000 dead to date or the thousands more who will follow them.

Meanwhile, his “expert” adviser in the subject, a radiologist with no public health experience, encourages the spread to achieve “herd immunity.” The notion is that when 65 to 70 percent have been infected, the virus will stop spreading.

A little grade-school math shows where we’re headed here. Take 65 percent of 330 million people and you see we need to infect at least 214 million. At our current 3 percent mortality rate, that would produce 6.4 million deaths.

This man wants to be president for life. When he says, “12 more years,” he’s not joking.

He will shred any norm, corrupt any institution, welcome any foreign interference. Support the republic, not the cult.

Bill Johnson



Gone astray

In the Whatchamacolumn in the Sept. 18 issue of the News-Register, Jeb Bladine writes about campaigns citing political ideologies.

He cites James Goings’ conviction that people with “left-leaning ideologies are brainless; that they believe in taxing our citizens into poverty and that burning down Portland is OK.” James’ goal is to “smash every left-leaning liberal that’s running for city or county positions.”

Well, James couldn’t be more incorrect in his assessment of left-leaning liberals. I know, as I am one of them.

I remember James as a student at Patton Middle School, which may have been McMinnville Junior High at the time.

He was outgoing and well-liked by other students. He seemed pleasant and thoughtful.

After reading about the James of today, I have to wonder, “What happened, Jimmy?”

Bill Bordeaux



Not a good sign

As I waited for a red light to change, I noticed a very large sign supporting Paulette Alexandria for county treasurer. It measures 4’ x 8’ or 32 square feet, and is thus illegal.

The state rule on temporary signs, 734-060-0175, allows a maximum of 12 square feet. So either Paulette simply ignores state rules or doesn’t understand simple arithmetic, which tells us 32 is not the same as 12.

I don’t want a treasurer unable to understand and apply basic arithmetic, not to mention the more complicated arithmetic of finance. If she is just unwilling to follow state rules, I don’t want a lawbreaker as treasurer either.

Vote for Kris Bledsoe for Yamhill County treasurer.

She has worked or volunteered for many organizations in Yamhill County in various financial positions for the past 14 years. Prior to that, she worked for banking and investment companies.

Barbara Doyle



The right fit

I shall be voting for Scott Hill in the upcoming mayoral election. Based upon my experience as McMinnville’s city manager from 1986 through 2015, I learned these things about Scott — all skills and attributes that are critically needed:

n Scott’s love for McMinnville is authentic. It’s the driving force behind his many years of volunteer public service to the city.

n He is a dedicated person of high integrity.

n Scott’s background in finance would serve the city well during challenging economic and budgetary times.

n He is fair, and always looking for ways that he and the city can improve.

n Scott has been a key participant over many years in completing important capital projects that improve our quality of life. Examples include the new police station, numerous parks, miles of improved streets, a new sewage treatment plant and collection system improvements.

n He is a “doer.” He works with others to get things accomplished.

Scott is a man of both extensive public and private sector experience, and that has been recognized by both his private employers and other appointed and elected officials around Oregon.

With all the unprecedented challenges facing our community, we would be served best by a mayor with effective leadership and management experience. Scott Hill is that person. Please join me in voting for Scott Hill as mayor.

Kent L. Taylor



Knowledge and experience

Kris Bledsoe would make a great Yamhill County treasurer. She is a person who truly wants to be of service to our community, thus volunteers her time and energy to such diverse organizations as Protect Grand Island Farms, the Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation, Court Appointed Special Advocates and the Yamhill County Water Task Force, to name a few.

Now she has an opportunity to serve Yamhill County using the skills and insights she gained through her many years of experience in the public financial sector

After earning a degree in economics and completing the US Bank management program, Kris worked by turn in the consumer, commercial and mortgage loan arenas. Then she became a registered stock and bond representative, specializing in bonds, and taught multiple economics courses for the American Banking Association.

The knowledge she has amassed in the investment industry, and her vast experience with portfolio management, give her the discernment necessary to continue maintaining Yamhill County’s financial health. They would enable her to knowledgeably evaluate high quality, fiscally conservative investments and strategies for our future.

Join me in voting for Kris Bledsoe for Yamhill County treasurer.

Susan Karep



Screening is vital

America’s public health system is finally getting the attention it deserves. However, its importance stretches far beyond the coronavirus pandemic. Good public health starts with prevention, including preventing one of America’s deadliest diseases — cancer.

Each year, about half the nation’s 600,000 cancer deaths could have been prevented through existing public health measures. That’s why Centers for Disease Control cancer screening programs, which supply states and communities with resources to conduct breast, colon, cervical and other cancer screenings to people in need, are so important. They can save lives and help address longstanding health disparities.

Increased cancer prevention funding can reach people before it’s too late. It’s a point I made clear to Congresswoman Bonamici during a virtual meeting Sept. 15, our virtual lobby day.

As a cancer patient  and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer, I understand the importance of doing everything possible to tackle this disease. 

I became involved initially because I lost my father to lung cancer. Like many of you, I know way too many who have been affected by this terrible disease. 

If we’re going to come out of this pandemic stronger and healthier, we must do whatever we can to strengthen public health, including better funding for essential cancer prevention programs.

Missie Kallunki



Greater flexibility, please

Families are facing some challenging and stressful times right now as they try to navigate through the public school’s distance learning programs.

This past week, I realized that I am one of the lucky ones. As a grandma and trained teacher, I feel blessed to have the time and knowledge to help my grandchildren and their working parents with this newly-developed comprehensive online curriculum.

Just in the one week I have assisted with this task, I discovered the Kindergarten program in the McMinnville Schools is much too difficult for many of these young minds. Why such a demanding schedule for children who should be learning to love learning?

If I am having apprehensions about it, how are other families managing? I am nervous that our public-school system will lose them to one of the many private programs that have been developed and are taking advantage of the crisis we face — either that or choose to homeschool.

My grandchildren in Alaska are homeschooled, and the program they follow is much more suited to their particular aptitudes and learning styles. My grandchildren in Beaverton attend one of the public schools there, and its distance-learning curriculum is much more flexible and much less arduous.

Is it too late for the McMinnville School District to adopt some of the creative approaches Beaverton is using? I appreciate that our teachers are trying their very best to help our children, but am concerned we may lose some of them to other professions if the district doesn’t provide more flexibility to meet the individual needs of each student.

We must remember that all children have gifts, they just open them at different times. I don’t believe the rigorous curriculum we have adopted is consistent with this important concept.

Liz Marlia-Stein



Dedication above and beyond

I write to endorse Scott Hill as mayor of McMinnville.

In my role as executive director of Visit McMinnville, I have had the honor and pleasure to serve our community alongside Scott over the last five years.

Scott was integral in the formation and leadership of our organization. He served on the Visit McMinnville board for two years as a city councilor, and has continued to attend monthly meetings as mayor ever since.

His time and oversight have contributed to an 80% increase in visitor spending in our local businesses over five years. In addition, his contributions have also helped create a new revenue stream for the city, generating $1.38 million for the city’s general fund.

Scott is a citizen with McMinnville’s greatest interests at heart. His history of involvement and leadership speaks for itself.

Scott has served decades on the budget committee, 12 years on the council and four as mayor. He has served on many committees, including the Parkway Committee, which was responsible for successfully moving forward with phase one of the Newberg-Dundee Bypass. Under Scott’s leadership, we have completed and implemented a 20-year strategic plan to steer our city toward a strong future.

Scott is a balanced and fair leader who uses data, experience, relationships and heart. He makes strategic decisions designed to set McMinnville on the best track for a prosperous and sustainable future.

I know of few people who volunteer the volume of their time to actively serve a greater good than Scott. Coupled with the amount of knowledge Scott has of the inner workings of our city, county and state, and all of the experience cited above, this makes him the best candidate for your vote.

Please consider extending your support for Scott Hill this November.

Jeff Knapp



Winning combination

Kris Bledsoe’s academic expertise in economics, wealth of experience in lending and investment, and longtime commitment and devotion to the betterment of Yamhill County, make her a superior candidate for county treasurer.

Bledsoe’s economic prowess is what we need in a county treasurer. Her time on the county’s Investment Advisory Committee gave her the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure a smooth transition when Mike Green retires, and he has explicitly endorsed her for the position.

She understands the ebb and flow of resources in our county and how to effectively delegate and invest them. She can be relied on to manage our funds in a way that produces the most optimal and sustainable returns.

The world has become an uncertain place. We need representatives who can see the larger picture and act accordingly in the best interests of the people.

Experience in the business world is no longer enough.

When deciding how to handle our county’s monetary resources, we must take into account all economic aspects, on both the micro and macro scale. Anyone without an extensive education in economics cannot reasonably be relied upon to carry out this task.

Bledsoe’s devotion to the preservation of Yamhill County has been made clear by her passion for politics and her dedication to sustainability in the way she and her family live. I think the excellence of her past performance, the endorsement from Treasurer Mike Green and her embodiment of the values of this county are all the campaigning we need to see.

Sarah Steinback



A Trojan horse

Your editorial urging readers to vote for Biden was insulting. You provided no facts in support and the first debate has not yet been held. 

Biden has few accomplishments and is backtracking on his biggest, the 1994 Violent Crime Bill. 

He is neither honest nor honorable. He dropped his 1988 Presidential run because he plagiarized a British politician’s speech and said he graduated in the top half of his law school class when he really graduated near the bottom.  As Wikipedia notes, “the controversy hit Biden’s most vulnerable area, accentuating the notion that he lacked mental and verbal discipline.”

Biden is not compassionate and decent. His behavior is creepy. He exhibits a short temper when challenged. His support of abortion is offensive and counter to Catholic teachings. Tara Reade accused him of sexual assault, but he will not allow public access to his Senate files at the University of Delaware.

He puts his family’s interests first, not America’s. Hunter Biden made millions of dollars from Burisma Oil in the Ukraine solely via influence peddling. As VP, he got the prosecutor investigating Burisma fired.

Biden is not a uniter. He is struggling to unite Democrats, and Republicans loathe him.

He is not thoughtful. He supported entering the Iraq War and opposed assassinating Osama Bin Laden. He has flip-flopped several times on fracking.

Biden is incapable of surrounding himself with distinguished advisers. Take Beto O’Rourke, John Kerry, Susan Rice, AOC, Bernie Sanders. None of them are distinguished.

You are correct that he would never bombard us with tweets. His comments would be carefully scripted by others. 

Biden’s a Trojan horse that Democrats will use to turn the country to the far left. If elected, he will likely step down shortly afterward and we’ll get stuck with Kamala Harris, who is totally unqualified.

Randy Johnson



Onward and upward

It’s nearly October and we’re entering the last quarter of the year. My hope is that 2021 will bring much-needed light to a year marred by darkness. As a progressive, I have a short wish list for my community in the year to come.

First, I would love to see a paddle launch at Joe Dancer Park, allowing rowers to paddle around the bend of the park and have easy ways of getting in and out.

Second, our town needs a legitimate music venue that can host concerts with admission. Mac Market, are you listening?

Third, it would be rad to see fewer cars on our streets and more golf carts, as they’re more e-friendly. This isn’t a crazy idea. If you’ve lived in other states, you’ve likely seen communities allowing use of golf carts in town.

Fourth, I really hope to see less public urination. Unfortunately, I’ve been witness to three different people relieving themselves by the tennis courts on 12th and Cowls. It’s gross.

Fifth, please let that young man roast his corn and sell it on the streets. We need less red tape for opportunists like him.

Finally, this town would be well-served by having a tool lending library so citizens could make home improvements with tools that are too expensive to rent and too awkward to borrow.

Who knows what the next year will bring? I am an optimist, so believe the only way is, well, forward.

Jerod Harney



Democracy at stake

How quickly we forget.

In 1930s Nazi Germany, Roman Catholics were also persecuted. Albeit not to the horrific extent as those of the Jewish faith, they were nevertheless attacked.

The systematic destruction of Catholic churches, educational institutions, organizations and publications was devastating to all Christians. The fascist regime of Hitler drugged the citizens of Germany with deception until they awakened raped of freedoms and moral compass.

So here we are again today.

A Trump regime in Washington has mesmerized the religious right in order to strategically use it as a weapon to drive a wedge between Americans. It has weaponized Roe v. Wade to overthrow our democracy.

I respect both sides of the argument, but let’s not use it as the deciding influence for our vote. In the current battle in defense of democracy, this is but one of the serious skirmishes.

We must win the greater war in order to defend our right to challenge constitutional law.

Do we really want to put our trust in the most corrupt president in history? Is there anyone who really believes the Trump gang cares about Christian issues? Remember, this is a man who said he doesn’t have to ask God for forgiveness.

I am fearful good people of faith are being unwittingly used by this fascist regime. Their faith is being weaponized by those in power, who are without ethics or morals.

My fellow citizens, this is not a Republican or Democratic election. It is an election for the very future of our democracy.

The future of our religious freedoms is also at stake. Whether or not you agree with his politics, Joe Biden is a practicing Catholic, an American and a proven defender of democracy. For those who read the God-given history of faith in the Bible, I ask you to also read the history of the Nazi assault on Christianity and religious freedom.

Susan Tiffany



Wise choice for county

Kris Bledsoe, running for county treasurer, has a wealth of experience in economics and finance, having worked in banking, investing and auditing positions.

She is a certified government investment professional with direct investment experience. She displays attention to detail and passion for accuracy. She has an understanding of Federal Reserve policies and understands how they are used to stabilize our national economy.

Yamhill County will be making a very wise decision in voting for Kris for this important office.

We have known Kris for 14 years. She is a person who would never go back on her word.

She is reliable, upbeat, dependable and, most of all, very smart.

Vote Nov. 3 for Kris Bledsoe for county treasurer.

Judy & Les Buchholz



Supreme suffering

While we debate the composition of our nation’s Supreme Court, there can be no debate about the supreme suffering taking place in our nation’s factory farms.

Recent undercover investigations, show male baby chicks being suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground alive because they can’t lay eggs. Laying hens are packed into small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding sows spend their entire lives pregnant in metal cages. Dairy cows are artificially impregnated each year, and their babies are snatched from them at birth so we can drink their milk.

You can find details at https://dayforanimals.org. It’s an offshoot of World Farmed Animals Day, launched in 1983 to memorialize the tens of billions of animals tormented and killed for food. What’s more, raising animals for food is also hurting our health and the health of our planet.

Each of us has to choose whether to subsidize these atrocities with our food dollars.

My choice has been to replace animal products in my diet with the healthful, cruelty-free plant-based meat and dairy products, as well as the rich selection of fruits and vegetables offered by my supermarket. A quick internet search provides lots of recipes and sound advice.

Milo Nakamura



Not walking the walk

When I suggested a candidate for mayor is acting as a fantastic cheerleader for McMinnville’s small businesses, she enjoyed that so much she posted a photo of her high school self in her uniform.

When I asked her about her management experience, I was blocked from one Facebook page and muted on another.

Does it matter? Does it matter that McMinnville faces challenges and she cannot address how she ran any large organization? Does it matter that her supporters think the job of mayor is mostly ceremonial, so requires nothing more than a nice smile?

What is the main issue here? People with no common sense or people who have lost their yardstick to know how to measure a person’s capability?

When the people supporting the person running against Mayor Scott Hill cannot identify anything they disliked about Mayor Hill’s actions, then why the big push to replace him with someone who has no experience? What is their real agenda?

Despite what she says, this candidate does not like to hear anything that is not full of kudos. On that basis, she blocks everyone she feels is “so mean” to her.

I suspect, as the mayor of this city hears a lot of comments that are not complimentary, she would have issues with that. What a difference between the words she says and the walk she walks. Do you see it?

Beth Rankin



A problem-solver

We are living in a time of extreme crises — wildfires, COVID-19 and economic disruption.

We need someone in Salem who understands how government works, has practical experience working with state agencies, and is willing to fight for rural Oregonians, not just the special interests. Bernadette Hansen, seeking to represent our local Senate District 12, is that candidate.

In her previous positions as executive director with the Greater Yamhill Watershed Council and administrator with the Senate Water Policy Committee, she learned the importance of water quality and conservation. And not only for our farms, ranches and vineyards, but for all of us.

Before that, Bernadette helped oversee rural water policy in Pendleton and Baker City for Oregon’s Department of Water Resources. She will protect our natural resources and promote the development of sustainable, living-wage jobs by encouraging partnerships with business and government agencies.

Bernadette will also push to improve access to quality healthcare that is affordable for all Oregonians. She is committed to ensuring our education system has the resources it needs to prepare our students for the challenges ahead, and that our senior citizens have access to the support they need.

She is a practical, common-sense problem-solver who won’t leave us in the lurch at the end of a legislative session if things don’t go her way. Please join me in voting for Bernadette Hansen for state senator in District 12.

E.J. Farrar



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Thank you Mr. Randy Johnson for your assertion that Joe Biden is a Trojan horse that Democrats will use to turn the country to the far left. I needed a good laugh today. I was equally amused by your claim that Kamala Harris is "totally unqualified" to step into the role of POTUS should Mr. Biden decide to step down. It may be presumptuous of me, but I suspect that in 2008 you found Sarah Palin to be eminently qualified to be "one heartbeat" away from the presidency should, God forbid, something terrible befall John McCain. Am I right?


Thank you to “montag” – I will forego my own response to Mr. Johnson and just say “AMEN.”

In another letter, Judy Hromyko voices the opinion that Joe Biden is “nasty, not smart.” She asserts that he has “made both his son and brother wealthy by putting himself in debt to other countries.” Opinion is one thing, repeating the Russian propaganda about Mr. Biden needs to be challenged and fact-checked every time it happens. (Such false accusations are especially ironic in light of the nefarious dealings Trump has with Russia, Turkey, the Philippines, etc.) Ms. Hromyko’s letter goes on to cite a list of accomplishments she credits to Trump. Even if these “accomplishments” represent some benefit to America (and I question that they do) the BIG picture is a national tragedy. Trump has run this country like his own self-serving reality TV show: **“The Trump Fiefdom”** complete with a royal family. He has corrupted our government in service to his ego, lust for power, and personal financial gain. He has recklessly endangered our national security and put our health in grave peril. (200,000+ deaths and counting) He has contempt for our military – he identifies them as losers and suckers. He laughs at all of us, supporters and critics alike, because we aren’t smart enough to avoid paying taxes as he has been able to do for decades. (Does any of that that constitute the definition of “imperfect?”)

I do agree that this is the most important election of our lifetime. And if Trump manages to successfully defraud the voters, undermine the results of a free and fair election, (he has declared that we MUST get rid of those inconvenient ballots!) and install himself for another term, this will likely be our last election. Many (including my own family members) have fought and died to preserve and defend our democratic republic, if we don’t step up now it was all in vain and America as we know it will be history.


Susan Tiffany alleges that Joe Biden is "a practicing Catholic" but that is not the case. Because of Biden's pro abortion stance (among other issues) he has effectively excommunicated himself from the Sacraments and should not present himself to receive them. Even Cardinal Burke denounces Biden as a "wolf in sheep's clothing." And there have been instances when Priests have withstood this man when he tried to receive Communion even though their own Bishops do not have enough backbone to do so themselves.

I do not know if Susan Tiffany is a "practicing Catholic" or just what it is that she does practice, but she should not besmirch the Catholic name by claiming Joe Biden is a practitioner thereof. Joe Biden is as much a Catholic as Donald Trump is and that ain't saying much is it?!


A holder of political office represents the will of the people (supposedly) so it seems that one’s personal beliefs would need to take a back seat to the wishes of the constituency.....


Bill Johnson - Thank you for your comment. Herd "mentality" as Trump calls it would infect a great many people as your projections verify. I have a couple of questions? Would our healthcare system support millions of infected people? Who will pay for the treatment of millions of people without health insurance? It would be a massive blunder to adopt such a stupid plan. Talk about unemployment and job losses? Anyone with two cells of brain matter left would know that Trump's "cure" would certainly drive the final nail in the country's coffin.


tagup: Therein lies the problem with modern democracy and the American political landscape, as people have the misnomer that one should check their religion at the door. The Separation of Church and State does not eliminate one from transporting their beliefs into the office they were elected to serve in. As for the constituency, when we elect someone we should know where they stand and then let them stand as long as we keep electing them to office.

A local example would be that of our incumbent Mayor Scott Hill, who is a Mormon. Now I am not a Mormon, but what I know about them tends to make me believe that they can be pretty good people and Scott Hill is no exception. When he and the City Council are conducting city business, I expect him to comport himself in a manner that is in keeping with his faith, which he does. To deny him that opportunity is to basically hamstring him so he cannot effectually administer his office.


Hibb- I would expect holders of public office to act morally & ethically in keeping with their personal choice of spirituality.....I do not expect a public servant to impose their personal views or tenets of their faith on a community that likely doesn’t agree.....If they cannot follow that general guideline they should not represent the public.

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